David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) is a consortium of 28 universities from North America, Europe and Asia. The Institute, with Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU or the University) as the host institution and base, was established in 1993 with the aim to foster inter-disciplinary social science and humanities research and cultivate collaborative scholarship between the East and the West.

LEWI is named after Dr. David C. Lam, former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Canada, who helped raise the funds for the construction of the David C. Lam Building, where the Institute is housed. His father, Dr. Lam Tsz Fung, being the founding President of Hong Kong Baptist College (now University), was instrumental in laying down the foundations on which subsequent development of HKBU was based.

Mission and Objectives

LEWI has two missions: 1) to promote mutual understanding between East and West through research, academic exchange, and other scholarly activities; and 2) to promote inter-disciplinary research in social sciences and humanities from both the perspectives of the East and West.

Over the years LEWI has made strenuous efforts in performing and reconciling its dual roles as an international consortium of universities and a university-wide research unit. LEWI currently focuses on three separate yet interrelated research themes, namely, urbanization and mobility, environment, health and sustainability, and cross-cultural studies, with the view to consolidating LEWI’s position as an international hub in social science and humanities research, including the strengthening of collaborative research among consortium members. Three working groups corresponding to the three research themes have been constituted, each having a senior faculty member of HKBU as its convenor. In spring 2011 the University extended a major grant under the Strategic Development Fund scheme to substantially strengthen the Institute’s research infrastructure, more specifically, to enable the Institute to recruit a number of full-time research staff.

Research Focus

LEWI organizes its research around three working groups, namely, urbanization and mobility working group, cross-cultural studies working group, and environment, health and sustainability working group. Each working group comprises a convenor and group members appointed by the Director of LEWI. Group members, together with full-time research staff appointed by the Institute, conduct research in conjunction with the group’s research agenda, which are listed below:

Urbanization and Mobility Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Si-ming Li, LEWI Director and Chair Professor of Geography, HKBU)
- Comparative Urbanization under Globalization
- Migrancy and Globalism

Cross-Cultural Studies Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Cindy Yik-yi Chu, Associate Director of LEWI & Professor of History, HKBU)
- Foreign Communities in Hong Kong, 1841 to the Present
- Human Trafficking in Asia
- History of Christianity in China
- Chinese-Foreign Relations since the 19th century
- History of the Catholic Church in China

Environment, Health and Sustainability Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Kara Chan, Professor of Communication Studies, HKBU)
- Climate Change
- Green Groups in Hong Kong
- Corporate Initiation and Communication of Environmental Efforts